Responding to a Challenge by Sarah Nicholson

Way back in April when reading the Authors Electric blog I came across a post written by Joy Kluver about an introduction to crime writing workshop she attended held at the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival.

They were given the starting line ‘So, what have we got here, Barton?’ as a writing prompt and Joy was impressed by the different directions the stories took.

At a loose end I made a note of the prompt and set about scribbling a piece of flash fiction.

I’ve edited it, re-edited it and sent it into a few places for publication but so far it’s not found a home so I decided to share it with you.

Thanks Joy for the initial inspiration, hope you like the twist at the end.

“So, what have we got here, Barton?”

Did he really say decapitated heads? Plural?

“And headless corpses.” He consulted his notebook, “with assorted limbs scattered throughout.”

My breakfast rose ominously in my throat. As a treat for the first day of my new job, Paula had made scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Much to her disgust I desecrated it with swirls of bright red ketchup.

I imagined the scene awaiting me, these vivid red splashes far less palatable. Paula would call this karma.

Seeing the worried expression on my face the constable laughed, as if I was missing the obvious joke. “This isn’t a gruesome murder ma’am, just a simple break-in.”

I followed his gaze to the factory sign “Model Behaviour”, underneath it read “mannequins made to order”.


Then I remembered another piece of flash fiction I'd written inspired by the photo above. Click on the link below if you want to read more. 


Joy Kluver said…
Glad you felt inspired!
I enjoyed reading both of these - I prefer this latest one though. Interesting how different stories can be linked like this.

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